Letter From Michfest 2012: “Man On The Land!”
August 15, 2012
It was reported to GenderTrender that women yelled loudly “Maaaaan On The Laaaaand!” at male Transbians at Michigan Women’s Music Festival everywhere they went this year. Also received this missive:
“Michfest and the women born women intention policy: we were very well organized in showing visible support for the intention of fest. Those of us supporting the intention wore red throughout the festival. I attended a discussion about trans inclusion, which turned out to be mostly a bunch of trans allies and a MTT (Alice). They were all complaining about the “sea of red” which had been displayed at the opening ceremony and how “unsafe” it made them feel and how guilty they all felt for not being as organized with their t-shirts as we were with ours. I expressed that last year several women had been made to feel unsafe by males yalking about their penis in workshops with survivors. I was told there was a difference between feeling unsafe and uncomfortable and that penises do not really make women feel unsafe only uncomfortable.
I pointed out how crazy they were for believing that a t-shirt was more dangerous than a penis. Alice admitted that he had talked about his penis inappropriately but then dismissed his actions, saying that he is always hearing from women who “claim to be triggered” on the rape crisis line that he volunteers on, but that apparently all these women are just being neurotic and exaggerating (words to that effect). It is unfortunate that one of the women he traumatized last year was unable to come back this year because she does not consider the space to be safe after what happened last year.
Alice [Kalafarski] was the man who severely traumatized a survivor of sexual violence [and then publicly mocked her in a now edited but still incredibly despicable blog post- GM] by talking about his penis in a workshop last year about female masturbation and sexual violence post male sexual violence. The survivor had never been to Michfest before and she was a young woman in her early twenties. She was not at fest this year, and may never come again after this experience with Alice. Yet Alice was there. How fucked up is that?
We walked past him on one of the feminist parades and X and a few others yelled out “Man On The Land” which I later got “told off” about, even though I didn’t say anything lol. Over all a very successful year for us, and I had a woman tell me she had concluded we were right after listening to us, even though she had gone to the workshops on this issue sympathetic to trans inclusion. I do worry about the presence of that Alice at fest and also him on that help line. I am concerned he gets off on women’s sexual trauma. We need to keep up the pressure to keep the policy and to find a way to deal with perpetrators on the land.
This year was excellent in terms of resistance to trans presence at the fest. There were hundreds of women wearing red and a group of women had made about 500 t-shirts with the slogan “Big Up The Female: Power, Power”. The support for women-only space at Michfest was palpable and heart-warming.
Other women had made patches saying, “Respect the Intention, Respect the Healing”. I met tons of women who were in support of the intention and didn’t cop shit from anyone despite being covered in red the entire festival. Quite a few of us women went up to Alice and asked him to leave. I think that we made the men on the land feel incredibly unwelcome and uncomfortable this year. I feel very positive and happy about that. “